'Society needs to have an element of mercy' - Father Lapsley

In 1990 anti-apartheid activist and Anglican priest, Father Michael Lapsley was the victim of a parcel bomb delivered in the mail in Zimbabwe. He survived the near death experience, but lost his hands, an eye and ear drum. He now dedicates his life to forgiveness and reconciliation through the Institute for the Healing of Memories.

The social justice activist and director of the Institute for the Healing of Memories recently won the international 2016 Public Peace Prize for his contribution to peace and reconciliation.

He speaks to 702's John Robbie about his former comrade Chris Hani and what the release of his killer means to him and the spirit of reconciliation.

He says that while he believes the comments from the judge to Hani's family to "move on" was extremely unhelpful, he is not against the idea of parole for the Janusz Walus.

It's incredibly important to have justice but I think that society itself, needs to have an element of mercy, twenty years later. It needs to show it is superior morally to those who carry out these terrible things. We have a system where those who do take the life of another serve their sentence and go on parole, providing it's fair and just.

Father Michael Lapsley, Director of Institute for the Healing of Memories

I think if they had been released any earlier, it would've been a terrible for us as a nation. The blow [of Chris Hani's assasination] was very great to us as a people, especially with the kind of moral and humane vision that Chris had.

Father Michael Lapsley, Director of Institute for the Healing of Memories

Listen to the conversation below:


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